We'll Never Have Paris

"Weak"

We'll Never Have Paris Review


Romantic comedies depend on the sympathies of an audience, but in this scruffy movie actor-filmmaker Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory) plays a character so relentlessly naive and self-absorbed that it's impossible to root for him. This also makes it difficult to laugh at his goofy antics, because he's more pathetic than funny. Viewers looking for something offbeat and a bit dorky may find the film somewhat charming, but it feels oddly under-developed.

Helberg plays Quinn, a 28-year-old hypochondriac who works as a florist, afraid to pursue his desired career as a jazz musician. He's only ever had one girlfriend, Devon (Melanie Lynskey), and after 10 years together feels like it's time to propose. But this thought sparks a doubt in his mind, which is fanned into a flame when his sexy work colleague Kelsey (Maggie Grace) confesses that she has a crush on him. Quinn's best pal Jameson (Zachary Quinto) isn't much help, and soon Devon has had enough with Quinn's sudden distance. So she moves to Paris to stay with family friends and get some perspective. In a state of confusion, Quinn follows her there and is shocked to discover that she has already struck up a perhaps too-close friendship with handsome violinist Guillaume (Ebon Moss-bachrach).

Right from the start it's clear that Helberg's stammering nerd Quinn is only with Lynskey's witty-thoughtful Devon because they've known each other so long. There isn't a moment in this film when they feel even remotely suited to each other. And when Grace's slutty Kelsey throws herself at Quinn, the movie takes on a Woody Allen-style leeriness, as a geeky filmmaker makes a movie in which gorgeous women throw themselves at him. Helberg has some innate charm, but Quinn is so socially inept that it's obvious to everyone but him that he needs to go off and become a mature human being before getting into any sort of relationship.

Meanwhile, the film throws in several random gags that aren't remotely humorous, as Quinn's ongoing eye infection leads to a ludicrous slapstick-farce climax. Some adept side players add enjoyable moments, including Alfred Molina as Quinn's dad, and Judith Light and Jason Ritter as Devon's mother and brother. But the script's intriguing exploration of the tension between complacency and true happiness is badly undermined by some achingly simplistic plotting. So in the end, the audience doesn't really feel like any of these people deserve each other. Which is a bit of a problem for a rom-com.



We'll Never Have Paris

Facts and Figures

Genre: Comedy

Run time: 95 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 22nd January 2015

Distributed by: Orion Releasing

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: , Jocelyn Towne

Producer: , Jocelyn Towne, Robert Ogden Barnum, Katie Mustard

Starring: as Devon, as Kelsey, as Quinn, as Jameson, as Kurt

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